Howard Sankey
University of Melbourne
In The Problems of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell presents a justification of induction based on a principle he refers to as “the principle of induction”. Owing to the ambiguity of the notion of probability, the principle of induction may be interpreted in two different ways. If interpreted in terms of the subjective interpretation of probability, the principle of induction may be known a priori to be true. But it is unclear how this should give us any confidence in our use of induction, since induction is applied to the external world outside our minds. If the principle is interpreted in light of the objective interpretation of induction, it cannot be known to be true a priori, since it applies to frequencies that occur in the world outside the mind, and these cannot be known without recourse to experience. Russell’s principle of induction therefore fails to provide a satisfactory justification of induction.
Keywords Bertrand Russell  Induction  Problem of induction  Justification of induction  Principle of induction
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Justification of Induction: Russell and Jin Yuelin. A Comparative Study.Chen Bo - 2012 - History and Philosophy of Logic 33 (4):353-378.
The Uniformity of Nature.Wesley C. Salmon - 1953 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 14 (1):39-48.
Falsificationism and the Pragmatic Problem of Induction.Danny Frederick - 2020 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27 (4):494-503.
Herbrand's Theorem and Term Induction.Matthias Baaz & Georg Moser - 2006 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 45 (4):447-503.
Vindication, Hume, and Induction.Gary E. Jones - 1982 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):119-129.
Vindication, Hume, and Induction.Gary E. Jones - 1982 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):119 - 129.
Counter-Induction.John L. Pollock - 1962 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 5 (1-4):284 – 294.
On the Justification of Deduction and Induction.Franz Huber - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):507-534.
An Induction Principle Over Real Numbers.Assia Mahboubi - 2017 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 56 (1-2):43-49.
The Ineffability of Induction.David Builes - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
A Note on Induction, Abstraction, and Dedekind-Finiteness.G. Aldo Antonelli - 2012 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 53 (2):187-192.


Added to PP index

Total views
106 ( #104,965 of 2,462,781 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
47 ( #18,821 of 2,462,781 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes